A Mother’s Day lunch is the perfect excuse for a family get together. I searched the web for a Mother’s Day restaurant in London, somewhere ladylike, elegant, that wouldn’t break the bank and had a charming atmosphere.
Well, The Orangery, Kensington Palace had it all. It is surrounded by beautiful formal gardens of the palace which makes it a great place for a Mother’s Day walk afterwards.
What mum wouldn’t want to spend Mother’s Day in a Palace?!
They also do a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea at The Orangery, but we are here to enjoy the lunch.
The Orangery in Kensington Palace was once the setting for Queen Anne’s sophisticated court entertainment. So, it should do for me and mine.
It was Queen Anne who had this elaborate greenhouse built to protect her citrus trees from winter frosts. She then realised that The Orangery was perfect for fashionable court entertaining.
The ceilings soared and the classical 18th century architecture is impressive. Citrus trees are placed around the room still today.
I loved the table setting set for Afternoon Tea. We were here for lunch but for a moment we were tempted to switch, simply because I wanted to use the teacup.
The lunch menu was limited (we don’t have a problem with that) and offered simple English dishes.
My beautiful daughter was by my side.
My James arrived and we all hugged and grinned at each other.
One of my favourite bit of Mother’s Day is getting cards from my ‘babies’ (only get to call them that at Mother’s day and significant birthdays now!).
Full of love and humour I’m incapable of throwing them away. I have literally shoe boxes full of their cards at home.
Perfectly timed our (absolutely delicious) pink sparkling wine gets poured by a smartly dressed waiter and it really feels like a celebration.
Warm bread rolls look pretty on the decorative plates.
Our starters have arrived. Everyone but me ordered this scrummy looking Chicken Liver dish. They all enjoyed it but marked that the livers were a touch dry.
My Honey Roast Parsnip soup was thick and sweet. Full of parsnip flavour but would have benefitted from a good grind of pepper to off set that sweetness.
Time for the pressie!!! I know there had been a lot of phone calls between James and Charlotte working on my pressie this year.
I’m no good at guessing. Their Dad guesses for at least 5 minutes before opening his and usually gets it right, but I dive straight in.
My heart just busts wide open. A voucher like a scroll appeared. It is for a swanky restaurant for me and hubby. Such a generous gift, typical of my ‘babies’.
Charlotte explained that they knew the thing I wanted more than anything was more time with their Dad.
Tears of love and appreciation for these two incredible people. I am so proud to be their mum. (Prepare yourself for my ugly cry-face).
Having worked up an appetite from Mother’s Day emotions, I was ready for our mains.
Charlotte ordered this very tasty Red Snapper dish.
James and I enjoyed this Ox tail dish. The ox tail itself however, was too tricky to eat, as it failed to fall off the bone. The perfectly cooked kale and roasted swede mash was fantastic tho’ in the flavour packed jus.
Andy’s dish was probably my favourite. These Venison sausages were extremely tasty.
A waitress offered to take a photo of the family group. Cheeeeese.
The atmosphere was wonderful. An elegant bustle went along happily with a harpist who played modern day love songs from what we can gather.
At this point our smiling waiter handed the females on the table a glass of delicious Prosecco, saying “Happy Mother’s Day”. How lovely. Cheers, my baby!
Time for desserts and you can’t go far wrong with this smooth and deeply chocolatey tart.
This was the surprise favourite. Cranberry and Pear tart was new to me but should be tried by everyone!
Orange and Prosecco Panna Cotta was the wobbliest I’ve ever had. It was beautifully smooth with a subtle flavour.
This Apple Crumble was wonderful. English puds can be the best in the world.
James got to drink from the tea cup. Darn, I should have ordered a tea!
Just one word of warning, if you need you ‘powder your nose’ you are expected to leave the restaurant and walk outside around the side to find the loos.
It was hail-stoning when we left. Two American young woman, who were rather bemused by the outside loos stated ‘I just can’t understand British humour!’ (take an umbrella if there’s a chance of rain).
There are lots of (rather endearing) graffiti at the entrance to The Orangery, perhaps done while they were waiting for the rain to stop.
As my Charlotte said, this venue would be stunning in spring or summer when the gardens come to life.
Tho’ we had a dull, wet and cold Mother’s Day the faces around me were bright.
We briefly joined the tourists and had a guess which rooms would be Prince Harry’s.
Here’s a tip for you. Park at the Royal Garden Hotel, it’s on the corner of Kensington Garden just by the Palace.
London W8 4PX
By the way, if you are taken with this Palace experience, you can purchase Royal Afternoon Tea vouchers.
Other places we would recommend for Mother’s Day (south UK)
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